New taxes should have been introduced next year, Economist to Government

Dr Adu Owusu Sarkodie, a lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana has expressed reservation with some new taxes introduced by government in the 2021 budget.

Speaking to Kojo Mensah on the Asaase Breakfast show on Monday, Dr Owusu Sarkodie said the new taxes should have been introduced next year to give Ghanaians some relief considering the impact of COVID 19 on the economy.

“The existing ones should have been tackled, then you add on with the new taxes that is my first point and my second point is that with the new taxes I was rather expecting them next year because this year the coronavirus comes with so many uncertainties,” the Legon lecturer said.

“Right now, we are only hopeful that the Gross Domestic Product GDP will pick up from 0.9 to 5 percent, we are only hopeful, we know why it dropped from 6 percent to 0.9, because of the virus, if we have not been able to defeat the virus completely, the uncertainties surrounding the virus and its effect on the economy will still be hanging.”

Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Caretaker Government last week introduced some new taxes in the 2021 budget including sanitation and pollution levy, gaming tax, and Covid 19 health levy to help shore up revenues.

The new taxes have since been greeted with mixed reactions with others arguing it will bring untold hardship to the ordinary Ghanaian.

Commenting further on the issue Dr Owusu Sarkodie says government must expedite the passage of the tax exemption bill to help address the concerns of Ghanaians.

“The tax exemption bill has been on the floor of Parliament for months; where was the willingness of the central government and Parliament to pass it?”

He has however described attempt by government to focus on completing old projects in the budget as a step in the right direction.

Fred Dzakpata

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